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The Halloween season is not yet here, but netizens have been sharing eerie stories on Twitter with the hashtag #ManilaEncounters.

The hashtag started to gain traction on the social media site on Tuesday, February 26, but it actually started on Sunday, February 24.

In an interview with MB Life, Twitter user BJ Recio (@bjrecio), who started out #ManilaEncounters, said that he originally created the hashtag to crowdsource a random encounter table for RPGs (role-playing games) with Manila as its setting.

“I originally just started it as a way to crowdsource a random encounter table for RPGs (e.g. Dungeons and Dragons, but set in a fantasy version of Manila.),” he said. “To start, I posted a few encounters that I already have from an earlier attempt from a private group. They weren’t all magical pa, since even in a magical story, many plots spring from something mundane but interesting. Then, my friends added a few scenes of their own. Then more and more people started contributing. Ayun.”

His first entry is about a creature called “The Dragon of Pasig.”

“THE DRAGON OF PASIG, as large as your house and 5x as smelly. Its skin is plastic bags and shit and tetra packs. Its breath is corrosive factory smoke. It eats people, but it is tired of the taste of masa and wants to know what glutathione skin tastes like,” he wrote.

Recio plays and writes tabletop RPG materials as a hobby. If you’re not familiar with this, tabletop RPG is a form of a role-playing game where the players are describing their characters’ actions through speech.

“In RPGs, you generally have a gamemaster or GM that guides the story forward, while players take on the role of the main characters. Now, sometimes the GM gets stumped, kasi it’s a dynamic story that constantly changes while a group plays it. This is where random encounters come in. In a nutshell, a random encounter table is a list of events, or people, or creatures that the story encounters,” Recio explained.

He is also aware that the hashtag has evolved and people are using this to share their fictional stories and writing prompts. “I am hopeful that it encourages a wave of creativity. Personally I’m more invested in the overall sense of awe that urban fantasy gives us. And while many of them are turning out to be of the spooky ghost story variety, I think that’s part of the overall supernatural package.”

Whether it’s an original story, based on urban legend or events, here are some of the best #ManilaEncounters tweets that you need to check out:

Header image by Madel Crudo

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